It was during the still relatively tentative explorations I was making into the world of international arts festival direction that I swallowed hard and made my first visit to Glyndebourne. I had lived in London throughout the 1980s, had performed there many times in various venues from the National to the Drill Hall to Wyndham’s in the West End, and had sung in Paris, Vienna, and Amsterdam. I’d been to the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, but never to Glyndebourne.
The cost had probably kept me away initially, but its apparent veneer of privilege made me feel uneasy even on that first visit. It was 26 May 1996. As Artistic Director Elect, I’d just experienced Barrie Kosky’s Adelaide Festival and was now on the hunt for performances that would populate my 1998 edition.